Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

July 16, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- SMU will celebrate another step in the rebuilding of its engineering program with the Aug. 21 dedication of the new $15 million Jerry R. Junkins Electrical Engineering Building.

The three-story, 53,800-square foot building is located on the east side of the SMU campus near the intersection of Airline Road and Dyer Street.

“This new building represents the growing partnership between the University and industry to enhance the leadership role of the School of Engineering,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In recent years the school has initiated new academic programs, strengthened research advancements and emphasized teaching that develops management and entrepreneurial skills. Adding state-of-the-art facilities to this progress ensures that SMU will continue to make a major impact on engineering education, supporting our region and the nation’s ability to compete in a technological society.”

Future plans call for construction of a second new engineering building at SMU plus an expansion of Caruth Hall, the current engineering building, built in 1948.

The new building is named in memory of the late Jerry R. Junkins, former chief executive officer of Texas Instruments as well as an SMU trustee and alumnus. Major gifts for the building came from the TI Foundation, the family of Jerry Junkins, James Lindsay Embrey and Bobbie Embrey, and the estate of Hugo R. Kamb.

“Jerry Junkins worked hard to improve the quality of life in Dallas, particularly in education. He would be gratified to see what’s happening at SMU and to know that this area is becoming a recognized center for engineering education,” said Tom Engibous, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments. “Engineers are the people who turn dreams into reality. TI applauds SMU for honoring Jerry in this meaningful way, and for its commitment to developing future generations of engineers.”

Stephen Szygenda, dean of the SMU School of Engineering, said one of the long-standing deficiencies in the Metroplex has been the lack of a truly world-class engineering school in a private institution.

“Dallas is one of a small group of major cities that does not have a major school of engineering associated with it. This new building will help SMU get on track to becoming such an institution and, in the process, will benefit the entire Metroplex,” Szygenda said.

The new building will be occupied primarily by SMU’s Electrical Engineering Department. The first floor has classrooms and lecture halls, all of which are equipped with wireless technology that will enable students to download presentations onto laptop computers or share notes with each other. Two of the first floor classrooms also have state-of-the-art distance learning equipment that can send audio and video signals to any classroom in the building as well as via satellite to National Technological University and other customers of the School of Engineering’s distance education programs.

“The SMU School of Engineering has been a leader in distance education for more than 30 years, and the addition of these two teleclassrooms will keep us in the forefront as we continue to provide our student-customers the best possible service,” said J. Kim McNutt, director of distance education.

The ground floor and second floors have a variety of teaching and research labs that will allow the department to expand and update its work in digital signal processing, optoelectronics, microelectronics and biomedical research, as well as wireless communications and networking. The second floor also has a board room that features a walk-out balcony overlooking Airline Drive. The third floor provides office space for faculty, staff and students.

“The quality of the Junkins Building will help SMU to recruit and retain the best students and faculty in engineering, building on the strong foundation that has been established,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs Ross C Murfin. “A strong School of Engineering will enhance the quality of the entire University.”

The Junkins Building is the first to be completed in a new east quadrangle on the SMU campus, two blocks from North Central Expressway. Construction is now under way on a new student services building, and additional plans call for the construction of a new executive education center for SMU’s Cox School of Business. The new area is expected to eventually become the major visitors’ entrance to the SMU campus.

Construction of the Junkins Engineering Building was part of The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead, which took place from April 1997 to May 2002. The campaign has raised nearly $540 million for academic programs, scholarships, faculty positions and facilities.

The Junkins Building was designed by Hahnfeld Associates of Fort Worth in association with Ellerbe Beckett of Minneapolis. Construction manager for the project was Manhattan Construction of Dallas. The building took 156,000 person-hours to build and includes 93,000 bricks, 3,157 cubic yards of concrete and 2,800 pieces of cast stone.

In addition to electrical engineering, the SMU School of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four other departments: computer science and engineering; engineering management, information and systems; mechanical engineering; and environmental and civil engineering. For more information on the school, visit its Web site at